Treating infidelity: Clinical and ethical directions

Douglas K. Snyder, Brian D. Doss

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This article addresses clinical and ethical directions in treating clients coping with infidelity. Developing competence in this domain requires familiarity with empirical research regarding infidelity, individual and cultural differences involving nonmonogamy, and assessment and intervention skills related to treating infidelity. Practical directions will entail distinguishing among responsibilities to individual partners versus their relationship and managing related potential conflicts of interest with other involved parties. Confidentiality assumes increased complexity when confronting undisclosed infidelity in couple therapy and when a client engaging in high-risk behaviors for contracting STDs or testing seropositive for HIV has not informed his or her partner(s). Finally, we discuss therapists' need to concretely articulate their values that influence treatment of infidelity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1453-1465
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Affair
  • Confidentiality
  • Duty to warn
  • Ethics
  • Extramarital relationship
  • Infidelity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology


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